Canistota has White River’s number for the second straight season.
The Hawks upset the No. 3 Tigers, 65-43, at the Hanson Classic on Saturday at the Corn Palace.
It’s the second-straight season Canistota has upset the perennial power at the Corn Palace, with last year’s coming at the Dakota Wesleyan University Classic.
“When you play great competition, you play your best,” Canistota senior Trey Ortman said. “Obviously, White River is always such a great team in Class B every year.”
The Hawks (8-2) jumped out to a 22-15 advantage after the first quarter and stretched their advantage to 43-25 at halftime. Canistota was efficient offensively and finished 28 of 55 from the field.
“I thought we got the transition game going and I thought we got off to a good start, which last year was the same way,” Canistota coach Pat Jolley said. “I thought that was very important the way we got off to a good start and then I think the kids confidence went up as the game went on.”
The Tigers (9-1), meanwhile, had a tough time solving the Hawks for the second straight year.
“I feel we didn’t play team defense at all and you have to credit them, too,” White River coach Eldon Marshall said. “They are quick and guys were driving by us and help wasn’t there. They knocked down some shots early and got the lead. It just steamrolled from there.”
The Hawks emphasized stopping White River’s transition points and neutralizing its perimeter-oriented offense.
“We knew we had to get back every single time and just try to get to the hole and be patient,” said Ortman, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. “Sometimes we get a little impatient. So we just tried not to force any shots and get to the rim as much as we can.”
The Hawks also out-rebounded the Tigers, 42-24.
“They were getting all the rebounds,” Marshall said. “We didn’t get any offensive rebounds and they weren’t getting any offensive rebounds because they were making everything. They just shot real well and they got a lot of buckets in the paint and even in the some transition stuff we usually don’t give up.”
Joe Sayler scored 17 points for White River. Nick Sayler finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. The Tigers host Kadoka Area on Monday.
Chase Merrill added 14 points for the Hawks, who play at Ethan on Monday as they gear up for the second half of the season.
“It will build our confidence up for sure," Ortman said. "Because if you can play with White River, you can play with anybody."